It’s Elusive and That’s Why It’s a Secret

(From Dr. Thomas’s new book Skinny Jeans…At Last!) To get a free copy of this book in pdf or audio format, click here.

I love the words Elusive Obvious. They are the title of a book by Moshe’Feldenkrais. It is on body movement and awareness written many years ago and contains lots of wisdom.When something in our lives is elusive it’s like we are chasing something that we just can’t seem to catch. It’s always just out of reach. Weight loss advice is everywhere, so why does the ability to lose weight remain so elusive?

Well, it’s obvious. Weight loss, or better yet, the mechanisms that regulate weight is a physiologic, very complex process that we are just scratching the surface of understanding.
Our bodies contain an enormous number of chemical messengers such as hormones that work on a method of bio-feedback that actively prevent you from losing weight. I won’t bore you by listing them, but it is a fact that they exist.

I think evolutionary theory explains why these chemicals exist. They were built into us for a time that no longer exists, when survival was difficult and most dependent on our ability to find food and eat. We now live in a time of food abundance.

It’s also a fact that the more we learn – the less we know. Every time we identify a new chemical that may help us to lose weight there is another chemical lurking in the shadows that keeps it from happening. The bottom line is simply this – the more we learn, the more we become aware of the complexity of this weight regulating system, and the further we seem to be
from finding a magic pill.

Intuitively it makes sense that if eating a lot causes us to gain weight, then starving ourselves would cause us to lose weight. It does – short term. We have all tried it and we all know it does not work. Almost always we re-gain all we lost plus a ten percent gain. To beat the board game we need to think
counter intuitively.

It’s obvious that we are dealing with a very complex and difficult to understand system – a system that seems to be beating us despite all the volumes of weight loss advice. We only know a fraction of the reasons why weight loss surgery normalizes our metabolism, but we know that it does. There is no published medical paper on non-surgical weight loss anywhere in the world where a significant group of patients followed some method and were able to keep fifty or more pounds off for five years or longer. None! That tells you something. Medical doctors produce tons and tons of papers. None is an obviously amazing number.

The success rate of the number of people who have tried to lose fifty or more pounds and keep it off for five years is near zero. It is well documented that many methods of weight loss can help a person lose ten percent of their excess weight and keep it off for five years. Ten percent excess weight loss does make a person much healthier, but to put that in perspective if you need to lose one-hundred pounds, ten percent would be ten pounds. And that is not enough to fit into those skinny jeans. And please remember fitting into those skinny jeans is just a metaphor for what it feels like to lose excess weight.

The chemical changes that normalize metabolism gradually disappear over time, generally years. I think it takes one to two years to establish a habit. Long term weight loss success requires you to lock in some simple, do-able eating habits. These habits work. This chemical phase, where the operation is doing the majority of the work for you, is the time to lock in these habits. If you lose focus and get lazy you will re-gain weight. Yet we are constantly chasing new methods expecting them to be the magic answer. Weight loss surgery is the only proven tool for patients to lose more than ten percent excess weight long term. Surgery tricks this complex biofeedback system in the body and that’s the magic of why it works. There is no magic pill that can do that and starving does not work. Awareness is the key to all change.


  1. thanks for share!

Speak Your Mind


Disclaimer: Please note that there's no guarantee of getting the same results as each of these patients. Specific results vary by individual patient.